Websites have only been in existence for the past 25 years. In 1996 there were 100,000 published websites but today the number is a staggering 650,000,000! Below are a few links to some of the oldest websites that are still alive and preserved on the internet. You can find more information at http://gizmodo.com/.
When to consider a redesign for your website?
The general advice is you should re-evaluate your website every three years because technology is advancing at such a rapid rate and consumer behavior on the internet is also changing very fast. On top of that your business might also have moved in a different direction and /or grown. Below are a few questions that you could ask in trying to decide whether your website has reached a critical stage for a redesign:
- Is your website still effective in delivering it’s goals and objectives?
- Has your business changed and grown over the years and your website has not kept up?
- Does your website provide the kind of impression that will help promote your company’s image or is it causing you to loose business?
- Does your website have the functions and features that your business desperately need?
- Does your website embrace social media and cater for new habits of internet users?
- As technology is changing at a rapid rate, will you be bypassed by your competition?
It’s more cost effective to have a new site built
When it comes to modernizing a website, generally it’s more cost effective to have a new one built rather than try and alter it’s existing structure. Altering the structure of a website can make the internal coding messy and the program difficult to debug. From a design stand point, it also means you are constrained by the existing framework or platform that will affect your desired outcome.
Below is just some useful tips for planning a website overhaul.
Sign up for a new web hosting with unlimited storage, bandwidth and 24/7 support
- If your current hosting does not have the platform or environment to support your website goals, then it’s time to reconsider upgrading.
- You’re really spoilt for choice these days for low cost hosting. Many companies offer less than $10/month with unlimited storing and bandwidth. Reliability, uptime and technical support are key issues for selecting your hosting company.
- Ensure the hosting package will give your website plenty of space for growth or allows you to upgrade.
Keep a backup of the old website
Once the information is gone, you’ll never get it back. Make sure you keep a backup copy of your existing website before you embark on the redesign project.
Consider using WordPress Content Management System
There are many tools for building websites such as Wiziwig, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Frontend, etc. but by far WordPress is our top choice for websites because of the following reasons:
- powerful features
- readily customizable templates
- amazingly friendly user interface
- easy to carry out updates of website content beneficial to small businesses
- economical to build
If you want to find out more about WordPress for small businesses, please click here.
Certainly look at the 2014 new trends for web design and see how they will benefit your small business.
Get a new domain name if needed
Now it’s time to consider a new domain name if your business has changed or the old name is too long and not quite effective for your marketing purposes.
What about your company’s branding? Are you intending to keep the current logo or have it redesigned? What about your color and your theme? If you’re embarking on a brand overhaul, it’s important to keep a consistent look across media platforms, stationary and all marketing materials.
The impact of SEO
Redesigning your website can impact your SEO ranking. If you have good ranking pages with high number of inbound links, make sure you talk to your web designer what strategies or plans he/she has in place for this area.
Implement Google Analytics
Remember to implement google analytics from the beginning to your new website. Those statistics can be helpful towards understanding how well your website is performing and the areas of weakness for improving. Google analytics also gives you invaluable insight into your customer’s behavior (eg. what drives sales and leads) which will help you make important decisions for your business.
Integrate with social media
Social media has tremendous potential for online marketing and a huge implication for SEO. Used properly, social media can help promote your business with your target audience on a large scale.
Incorporate a blog
Needless to say, content that has been static for years needs reviewing. Websites should always have fresh content for both SEO strategy and captivating the interest of the visitors. Installing a company blog as part of the new site is highly recommended.